Mummy Mindset coach

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Why I went Vegetarian and can it help us improve our health?

Okay let me assure you that this is not going to be preachy or pushy, but I get asked a lot about why I went Vegetarian so I thought that a blog post would be an easy way to address any questions people have about making the transition and how it can be beneficial.

The start of my transition 
I’ve been Vegetarian for over 2 years now so I’m not a lifer, but a good rare steak with a glass of wine was a real treat for me as a meat-eater. I get asked if making the transition was hard and I’m often met with people who are really confused as to why I would put myself through it saying ‘good for you but I know I could never do it.’ And to be honest, I used to have the same response when I asked other Veggies why they don’t eat meat. I never thought that I would be one of them because I just thought that living without steak or salmon would be miserable. And I don’t like setting rules around food so it made me nervous at the thought of being told I couldn’t have something. I was scared that I would just want it more. 
There isn’t a big dramatic story behind my decision. I've never been a huge meat-eater anyway and I preferred fish to meat. Then about 2 years ago, I watched a few documentaries on Netflix such as  ‘Cowspiracy’ ‘Forks over knives’ and 'What the Health?' They just really resonated with me and made me question my beliefs because I love animals and I care about the environment and want to learn more ways to be able to make a contribution. The health side of it also really interested me and I wanted to know more about the benefits. I made up my mind that I was going to try it and if it was too hard, I could always go back. I didn’t even want to tell anyone at first because I was so sure I would go back on my word after 1 week. I honestly didn’t think it would be a lifetime commitment. But I threw myself in at the deep end and it just felt like it came naturally to me and I've never gone back since or regretted my decision. I was surprised at how easily it happened, I was convinced that I would slip up after a few drinks and order a kebab but it doesn’t even enter my mind anymore. So many people told me that I would crave meat when I was pregnant, but all I wanted was cheese on toast.

Changes in my body

I get asked if I feel ‘better’ or have lost weight since turning Veggie. I wouldn’t know about the weight thing because I don’t really weigh myself but I haven’t noticed any dramatic changes in my physical appearance. That might be a disappointment to some people who are hoping that a meat-free lifestyle will lead to losing a few pounds and for some it might. But I only see it as a positive that as a society we are constantly being told that meat is an essential protein source that is necessary to be able to build muscle and train effectively and in my personal experience, this isn’t true. The fact that I haven’t seen any major changes to my body means that I never needed meat to fuel my body anyway and my workouts haven’t suffered as a result. Although I do have to stress that everyone’s body is different and I know that some people react negatively to a lack of animal products in their diet.

Raising children as Vegetarians

I also get asked about whether Jacob will be raised as a Vegetarian and it really is a difficult decision to make. I would like him to try it, when he's old enough to do some research about it and make his own decision. I don't want to make the decision for him when he doesn't have a voice. So he'll try a variety of foods, but when we start weaning he's going to be eating a lot of what we eat, so he'll probably end up eating more of my Veggie meals anyway and hopefully enjoy them. Also, my husband is a meat-eater so I have to take his point of view into account also when it comes to Jacob.

What motivates me to maintain my lifestyle?
So if I haven’t lost weight or built more muscle then why did I bother continuing with the Veggie lifestyle? There are so many benefits of being a Vegetarian that go beyond physical appearance. I feel better in myself knowing that I’m positively making a contribution to the environment that suffers massively as a result of meat production and I’m not taking part in, or justifying the killing of animals for our gain. I genuinely enjoy Vegetarian meals, and the lack of meat forces me to be a bit more creative and try new recipes all the time which keeps mealtimes interesting.

Useful resources

For people that are curious about a Vegetarian lifestyle, I would recommend doing some research. There are plenty of books out there and documentaries that you can watch like the ones that I've mentioned. As well as plenty of plant-based advocates on social media, my favourite being Zanna Van Dijk because she’s not preachy in any way and is really educational. You could even try by just doing one day a week meat-free and seeing if you enjoy it, and building it up that way or just committing to 1 day a week. In my opinion, anything is better than nothing.  Here are some resources to get you started if you’re interested.

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